KUALA LUMPUR, March 1 — The man named by PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli as the account owner who allegedly paid RM1.4 million to Sarawak Report (SR) on behalf of PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang is close to the latter’s son-in-law, said a source.
The source who wished to stay anonymous, told Malay Mail’s sister publication ProjekMM that the individual with the “Datuk” title can regularly be seen visiting Hadi’s son-in-law Zaharuddin Muhammad’s home in Kota Damansara.
“He is a kind man and like to help friends who are in trouble,” the source told ProjekMM.
“When PKR leaders were detained under the Internal Security Act, he was among those who helped their families’ finances.”
The man, a former lecturer in a public university, is now a chairman of a government-linked company, said the source.
He was said to be among those who had wished for a unity government between PAS and rival Umno since 2008.
The source also revealed that the man had attempted to bring together former PAS leaders — who are now in Parti Amanah Negara — to negotiate with Umno leaders, but his suggestion was rebuffed.
Malay Mail is currently seeking to verify the source’s claim.
Earlier today, PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli said he has ascertained the name of the owner of a Bank Islam account allegedly used to transfer RM1.4 million to SR editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown, amid denials by PAS leaders claiming said account is “fake”.
Earlier today, Rewcastle-Brown said that PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had to cover SR’s RM1.4 million in legal fees, in order to withdraw his defamation lawsuit.
Rewcastle-Brown included an excerpt of a letter of undertaking confirming the amount, and said the payment was the only item from the settlement both parties had agreed to remain silent over.
In a posting on her website, she said this was not stated in the mutual settlement as Hadi’s lawyers had placed the sum in escrow prior to the termination.
Hadi had sued Rewcastle-Brown in 2017 over a report the preceding year alleging PAS leaders took RM90 million to support Umno and Barisan Nasional ahead of the 14th general election.
He inexplicably withdrew the lawsuit filed in London, UK, this year, prompting views that he was no longer disputing the accuracy of the report that remains on the SR website.